En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - November 19, 2012

From: Baltimore, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Deer Resistant, Privacy Screening, Shade Tolerant, Trees
Title: Evergreen Privacy Screen for Maryland
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I am looking for an evergreen that will suffice to be planted as a privacy screen between my property and my neighbors. Looking to plant a row at the property line. The lot is shaded most of the day and receives maybe 2-3 hours of sun. I would prefer the plant be around 20'-40' when mature. Also, there are plenty of deer in the area so it needs to be deer resistant.

ANSWER:

Wow!   That’s a lot of requirements [or at least “wishes”].  The more constraints you put on a solution, the more limited your options are, but I[we] got lucky and there are some good choices which I discuss at the bottom of this message.   The proper way to go about this is to bring up the “Recommended Species” for Maryland – then “narrow the choices” by your requirements on the sidebar.  The following Mr Smarty Plant question/answer pairs illustrate this and provide some interesting reading on similar questions:
Native Alternatives for Baltimore 
Evergreens for Privacy in VA
Privacy Screen in Arlington VA
Shrubs for a Screen in DC
Large Shrubs for Privacy Screen in VA
Shrubs for a barrier fence in Alexandria VA

   Now, just in case you are in a “just give me the answer” mood; I did this for shrubs/trees in the 12-36 foot range and partial shade [2-6 hours sun].  After that, you have to read the plant record to see if it is evergreen and to see if there is a comment as to deer resistance.  Here is what I found:

  The closest to having everything was Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle), which is both evergreen and listed as having moderate deer resistance.
Evergreens that might also be good choices include  Ilex opaca (American holly), Rhododendron catawbiense (Catawba rosebay) and Rhododendron maximum (Great laurel), but there was no mention of deer resistance.

Similarly, non-evergreens that are listed as deer resistant include Ptelea trifoliata (Wafer ash) which is listed as High Deer Resistance, and Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud) or  Viburnum rufidulum (Rusty blackhaw viburnum) with Moderate Deer Resistance.

 

From the Image Gallery


Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

American holly
Ilex opaca

Catawba rosebay
Rhododendron catawbiense

Great laurel
Rhododendron maximum

Rusty blackhaw viburnum
Viburnum rufidulum

More Trees Questions

Due to drought is pruning live oaks beneficial from Houston
December 07, 2011 - Would it be beneficial (presuming a continued spring drought) to prune live oak trees more severely than usual this winter? I'm thinking that it might help them to have less mass to support.
view the full question and answer

Care for indoor Lemon Cypress
November 30, 2008 - How do I care for an indoor Lemon Cypress tree?
view the full question and answer

Selecting a tree for a backyard in San Antonio, TX
May 11, 2013 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently moved into a home in West San Antonio right outside Loop 1604..my treeless backyard is fairly small at about 55 ft long and 15 ft wide. I am torn because I can't ...
view the full question and answer

Long term effects of pesticide from Lubbock TX
March 20, 2013 - I have 9 western pecan trees about 20 years old. Trunk sizes is from 18" to 39". I used a product Bayer Tree and Shrub, applied to the trees. I wonder what it will do to the trees. I talkd to Bayer ...
view the full question and answer

Average lifespan of Pinchot's Juniper from Golden CO
August 23, 2011 - What is the average lifespan of Juniperus coahuilensis (syn. Juniperus texensis) trees?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center